PETALING JAYA: Kelantan are back on the winning trail again.
On Tuesday, the 2012 treble winners recorded their biggest win of the season with a 3-0 defeat of Sime Darby FC at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Baru to reach the FA Cup semi-finals on a 4-1 aggregate.
The victory came as a huge relief for coach Mohd Azraai Khor after having lost four straight Super League matches. It was Azraai’s first win since taking over from Dutchman George Boateng last month.
“All this while we were like a team without any ammunition ... this win is a good sign for the team,” said Azraai, who was pleased with his new attacking trio of Colombian forward Erwin Carrillo, Brazilian Gilmar Filho and Nigerian Austin Amutu.
Skipper Mohd Badhri Radzi put the Red Warriors in front from the penalty spot in the 40th minute. Amutu doubled the tally in the 58th minute and new signing Carrillo was on target in the 74th minute.
“If we can maintain this kind of aggression, I am sure we will play like true Warriors,” said Azraai.
Kelantan finished without any title last season. This year, they began on a bright note with identical 2-0 wins over Armed Forces and Lions XII in the league.
After that, the Warriors fell into a rut. They suffered their biggest home defeat in years – losing 4-0 to Police – and it was followed by a goalless draw with Perak. It was then that Boateng was removed as coach.
Under Azraai, Kelantan lost to Felda United (1-0), Terengganu (2-1), Pahang (2-0) and Johor Darul Ta’zim (3-1).
The Warriors are 10th in the 12-team league with seven points.
They face an acid test against leaders Selangor, on 17 points, at home on Saturday.
“Our players are fully motivated after winning the ticket to the FA Cup semi-finals. Selangor are riding high, but we will try to win to claw our way up the standings,” said Azraai.